Cartoonist: Patrick Mulholland
WHAT IS IT?
An epic, sci-fi action adventure series all from the mind of a single cartoonist.
It's got the time & space travel aspect of an X-Men arc or Chrono Cross, but the wall-to-wall action and world building of something closer to Ender's Game or Valeria. There's also an aspect of the action film (now TV series) Hanna in there, too.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The last human in the universe, Juno, and her robotic orb friend, Io, travel through time and space, collecting crystals to power a giant machine powerful enough to reverse time to before the Earth was destroyed.
Unfortunately, there are powers at work against her, wishing to stop her and take her crystals from her. Can she beat them and collect the crystals to save the human race? Or will darkness thrive with humanity's extinction?
Patrick Mulholland has an amazing grasp on the comics medium, and I'm honestly in awe at what he's accomplished with Zero Jumper
His dynamic panelling, sense of tension and rising action, incorporation of sound effects into the art, the page flow of action, art and lettering, and using page turns for big reveals is remarkable
Often, cartoonists excel at some aspects of making comics, but not others. But Patrick Mulholland's work in Zero Jumper shows he's that well-rounded kind of talented that makes others green with envy.
Mulholland's writing is extremely tight
His first line immediately hooks the reader
Fun banter between Juno and Io, and witty dialogue in general make the parts without an action sequence easy and enjoyable to read
He's trimmed all the fat to make this story one heck of a ride, and his world building pulls you in from the start
As artist, Mulholland's dynamic panel layouts show he knows enough about the rules to break them properly to enhance the action, and when this is combined with his well-realized color palette, every page turn brings a sense of awe and excitement
Patrick's lettering work was one of my favorite parts, specifically his sound effect work
The SFX often look three-dimensional, dynamic and immersive
Having a strong girl as the main character, undefined by a man or any love story beyond love for family, was refreshing
I love how the ending situation leaves you with this sort of existential question you have to answer for yourself
Backmatter feels robust enough to spawn spin-offs
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Some spelling/grammatical errors and extra spaces and typos can take away from the book's polish a little
The story was SO tight, I would have been OK diving a little deeper into the world, the characters and its rich history
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's a non-stop thrill ride from a single cartoonist with a singular vision. Zero Jumper is an absolute pleasure to read, especially for fans of time travel and sci-fi action.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Black Science by Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera
Battling Boy by Paul Pope
Vagrant Queen by Magdalene Visaggio & Jasen Smith
If you like the art:
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Patrick Mulholland – Cartoonist
Multitalented: Wrote, illustrated, colored and lettered this entire graphic novel
Outlander: Hails from Belfast
Inspired by Sean Murphy and Frank Quitely
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these to pre-order (or to purchase, if you're from the future):
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